Do you want to quickly learn how to start a convenience store in a few simple steps? You have come to the right place. Like starting any other business, starting a convenience store requires capital (money), proper planning and ample time. Getting into the business of convenience stores is a good idea because these types of stores are in great demand in every country throughout the world. With a good business location, enough products for sale in the store, a good price structure and proper store management skills, you can start reaping profits quickly upon opening your new convenience store. Continue reading to discover how to start a convenience store in simple steps, and on your own.
Options for Opening a Convenience Store
There are three main options for opening a convenience store (popularly known as C-Store):
- Buy an already existing C-store
- Open a franchise
- Start a convenience store from scratch
Benefits of Starting a Convenience Store from cratch
Here, we are going to show you how to start a convenience store from scratch. Starting your own convenience store from scratch ensures that you have the following control in your business;
- Product and vendor selection activities.
- Choice of business location.
- Negotiations for important business issues such as lease.
- Product inventory levels
- Other business aspects like parking spaces.
- Business layout, products and equipment.
- Profit margins and other business financial considerations.
How to Start a Convenience Store?
Here are the steps that you should follow to open a convenience store from scratch and on your own;
Planning your convenience store
Planning your convenience store should not be simple if you follow the right procedures. Start by coming up with a name for your business and registering it as a legal entity (a limited company, sole proprietorship or partnership). Continue by determining the goods and services that you intend to offer and their costs. Write a good business plan. Other steps for planning include;
- Open a business bank account
- Come up with your business, sales and marketing plans
- Budget for your startup costs
- Do competitor analysis
- Get the required funds (capital) from your savings, contributions from family and friends or loans from financial institutions.
- Get the necessary business licenses, permits and insurance, making sure that you comply with all federal, state and local guidelines.
Requirements to legally start a business depends with the location, state or country that your business operates in.
Get your business started
Factors to consider when getting your business started should be largely customer-focused. This is because they are the ones that will need to come to the business. For these purposes;
- Secure your business location at a place where customers find it easy to reach.
- Buy the necessary equipment for your convenience store, making sure that they do not eat too much from your business capital. These include security cameras, computers, shelves, coolers, card processing machines, cash registers among others.
- Get your business location inspected and approved by the necessary business regulation offices in your state, country or local jurisdiction. This can be done by the department of health and department of fire.
- Establish business relationships with your suppliers in order for it to be easy to stock your convenience store.
- Stock your convenience shop properly, making sure that you have provided all what your customers may need.
- Hire the necessary employees to man all the necessary points of customer contacts.
Make sure that all the steps taken are thorough, you abide by all the laws and regulations in your area, and you have acquired reliable suppliers and trustworthy employees.
Open your convenience store for business
To ensure that you have gotten enough publicity and vibe for your new convenience store, you can decide to do a grand opening. Set up advertisement banners and come up with special deals for your new customers. Make sure that the word gets out there that your convenience shop is now open and operational.
To learn how to start a convenience store does not require any special training or certifications. You only need time, money, a little business skills and knowledge on how to start a shop. Fortunately, we have provided you with all the steps that you need to follow to be successful. As you continue doing business, you will become better in advertising your store especially using social media. You will also get better at choosing your business products and eventually giving your customers a reason to come back such as providing custom shopping bags.